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Weekly Liturgy : November 27 - December 3

Solar Eclipse

Mark 13:24-37

NRSV


13:24 "But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.


28-31 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.


32-36 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.


37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

 

REFLECTIONS:


Thoughts from John: This week begins the season of Advent: the four weeks before Christmas during which many Christian traditions practice “waiting and preparation” for the birth of Christ and Christ’s promised return. It is a period of expectation for a future world that has been healed into wholeness. It is a promise that what is currently broken, will not always be.


Those of us who have spent any time at all being human probably know what it’s like to experience pain and darkness so overwhelming, it feels like the sun will never shine again. Advent occurs at the darkest time of the year to represent this very experience. And it is why it’s start is celebrated with this text. This is Jesus giving hope. No amount of suffering will ever come without the infinitely-creative God of the Universe responding in love to do what love does best: shake the powers of Heaven to create something new and beautiful.


And we get to participate in that very act! None of us know when we or others will experience devastating darkness. So the best thing we can do is pay attention to the parts of our world that lead to pain and suffering most often (things like: Community Violence. Global Warming. Homophobia. Incoming inequality. Political extremism. Racism. Housing Crises. etc. etc. etc.) and then become like the Christ who heals, loves, and serves our neighbors out of those darknesses.



 

PRACTICE:

Meditation Advent Calendar


December 3: Spend 1 minute reflecting on waiting.

December 4: Spend 2 minutes reflecting on mercy.

December 5: Spend 3 minutes reflecting on justice.

December 6: Spend 4 minutes reflecting on goodness.

December 7: Spend 5 minutes reflecting on love.

December 8: Spend 6 minutes reflecting on forgiveness.

December 9: Spend 7 minutes reflecting on wholeness.

December 10: Spend 8 minutes scrolling on social media.

Send a message of encouragement to one person in your feed.

December 11: Spend 9 minutes focusing on your breath.

December 12: Spend 10 minutes outside in silent awareness.

December 13: Spend 11 minutes in a public setting observing the people around you.

December 14: Spend 12 minutes tending to your yard, your garden, or your plants.

December 15: Spend 13 minutes reflecting on waiting.

December 16: Spend 14 minutes stretching your body.

December 17: Spend 15 minutes in gratitude.

December 18: Spend 16 minutes reflecting on joy.

December 19: Spend 17 minutes re-reading a favorite text.

December 20: Spend 18 minutes reflecting on liberation.

December 21: Spend 19 minutes re-listening to some favorite music.

December 22: Spend 20 minutes in silent awareness.

December 23: Spend 21 minutes outside.

December 24: Spend 22 minutes reflecting on waiting.

December 25: Merry Christmas!

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.



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